If your website is hacked, the consequences can be severe. Your website can be rendered unusable, and information of yours and anyone else who uses your website may be vulnerable.
It is never safe to assume that hackers aren’t interested in getting into your website. You never know who will be targeted or what hackers might want. These six tips can enable you to keep your website from being hacked.
1. Don’t Let Software Get Out of Date
In the busy day-to-day work of running a business, it can be easy to let things lapse. You may have had a pop-up reminding you to update your software for weeks or months and keep clicking “ignore” because you always have something more important to do.
However, if software is allowed to get out of date, it is much more vulnerable to hackers. Often, updates are recommended for your software to respond to hacking attempts. If you do not take advantage of these updates, it will be much easier for hackers to find a way into your site.
2. Don’t Make Error Messages Too Specific
You want error messages to be helpful, but if you’re not careful, you can end up giving away information that will help hackers find their way into your system. Don’t offer very detailed error explanations that include database passwords, exception details, or API keys.
Make sure you run through the error messages on your website regularly to ensure that they don’t have too much information, and be certain that anyone who is creating error messages for your site knows not to make them too detailed.
3. Use Dual Validation
Make sure that validation occurs on both the server and browser sides. The best website hosting companies help to secure validation on the server side, so make sure you choose high-quality hosting.
On the browser side, ensure that the browser is looking for fields that may be left empty or when text is put into a field that should have numbers. However, keep in mind that these kinds of checks can be bypassed, so ensuring that validation occurs on the server-side is also important. Without dual validation, malicious code can end up in the database.
4. Check Passwords Regularly
Are you using complex passwords for your website? How about all of your employees and website users? If any of your employees or website users are using simple, basic passwords, they could be compromising your entire system.
All users should use complicated passwords that are difficult to hack. It can be very helpful to provide a password generator that will create complex passwords and then save them for employees using your website to avoid being tempted to use basic passwords. Place reminders when users are creating a website to encourage them to make passwords complex.
5. Do Not Allow File Uploads to Your Website
Allowing users to upload their own files comes with significant risks. Even if it’s apparently innocent, like changing an avatar picture or posting a video, the file could contain a script that can make your website vulnerable.
Simple fixes like verifying that the file is an image using the extension, checking the image size, etc., are not guaranteed. Code can still be slipped in. For this reason, to be safe, don’t allow direct uploads to your website. A great website host can set up a folder outside of your website so that images can be uploaded safely.
6. Use Security Tools
If you’re like many website owners, you don’t want to spend any more money on extra features than you absolutely have to. You may be reluctant to pay for security tools.
However, website security tools will end up costing a lot less in the end than allowing a hack. Free tools can do an excellent job of preventing hacks to your website. Do your research and choose security tools that are excellent at eliminating potential hacks.
Don’t Let Your Website Get Hacked
Hacking can be a serious issue for any website. The last thing you want is for somebody with bad intentions to access the website you have worked so hard to build.
To be safe, be sure to actively think about the ways in which hackers may try to get into your website and create safety mechanisms such as dual validation, nonspecific error messages, etc., to keep your website safe.